The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The 11 animals removed from Tiger Ridge Exotics are among 70 classified as “dangerous wild animals” that have taken residence at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s 20,000 square foot facility in Reynoldsburg since March 2013.

There have been 44 alligators, eight bears, six tigers, three restricted snakes, two cougars, and a dwarf crocodile, timber wolf, serval, bobcat, lion, leopard, and liger who have taken residence since the facility opened. The facility cost just shy of $3 million and construction was completed in about three months, says ODA Communications Director Erica M. Hawkins.

Hawkins says the state has never euthanized an animal cared for at its facility and all animals have been permanently relocated or are weathering out the winter until they can be relocated in the spring. Eventually, they are placed in accredited sanctuaries in six states — California, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Georgia. Hawkins says the shortest stay for an animal is overnight with the longest stay 66 days.

Employing a search and seizure warrant, ODA officials removed six tigers, a lion, black leopard, liger, bobcat and and Kodiak bear from Tiger Ridge on a cold Wednesday afternoon in late January.

Tiger Ridge sees up to 100 volunteers on daily basis

Tiger Ridge Exotics spokesperson Andrew Zapata says up to 100 volunteers have been arriving daily to help out owner Kenny Hetrick with upgrades and repairs to meet new guidelines set by the state of Ohio.

“The volunteers have been amazing,” Zapata said. “It slowed down this week because this weather has been really brutal, but we only really need a couple more good days to get this completely finished.

“The thing that has really kept them going is the amazing outpouring of support from this community. It’s been awesome.”

However, last Thursday and Friday, the animal farm set empty — not only of animals, but of volunteers.

The animals have been gone for nearly a month now. The Ohio Department of Agriculture had removed them from Tiger Ridge after it denied Hetrick’s application to operate an exotic animal rescue facility, saying the application was submitted 298 days late and that a visit by inspectors found “your facility illustrated that you have failed to comply with caging requirements needed for public safety and care standards intended to protect the animals” under the Ohio Revised Code.

A high school principal from Portage County has been selected to succeed outgoing Genoa Schools Superintendent Dennis Mock.

The Genoa Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a three-year contract for Michael Ferguson, principal currently at Rootstown High School in Northeast Ohio, according to Mock. Portage County’s population is about 191,000, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

He will be paid $94,000 annually and his contract begins Aug. 1 but his first official day will be Aug. 3.

Beginning June 30, Ferguson will spend time with Mock learning the job. Until his contract kicks in, he will be reimbursed on a per diem basis.

Ferguson was one of 12 applicants for the job, according to Doug Crooks, superintendent for the North Point Educational Service Center, the organization that conducted the search.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies will soon be armed with department service weapons rather than their own personal guns.

Late last week, Ottawa County commissioners allocated $30,000 to cover the costs of guns, holsters and ammunition magazine pouches.

The gesture ended Sheriff Steve Levorchick’s campaign to change the gun-toting policy by having the county underwrite the costs for a uniform weapon among the rank and file. The county’s deputies are the only ones in Northwest Ohio who still use their personal guns for their daily professional work, the sheriff said.
Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 13 do not provide standardized guns.

One reason for the commissioners’ holdout was liability issues, the sheriff said. The county, however, assumes greater responsibility by letting deputies use their own weapons, he said.

“We had no control over that weapon. Just for an example, if they were rigged with hair-triggers we wouldn’t be able to do anything about it,” the sheriff explained.

An Elmore meat store has announced it is voluntarily recalling several types of meat and spice products.

Tank’s Meats Inc., 3351 State Route 51, said Tuesday it is recalling the items due to allergens not being listed on the labels.

The recall covers approximately 849 pounds of Tank’s Coney Sauce; about 423 pounds of Hot Beef Jerky and Tank’s Original Beef Jerky, and several Chili Bob’s spice products due to undeclared allergens.

The Coney Sauce contains soy, an allergen, and the Beef Jerky products and spices products contain wheat and soy.

Subject to recall are:
• Tank’s Coney Sauce produced prior to Aug. 14, 2014.

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